Role of vitamin B12 and folic acid in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: a meta-analysis of randomized control trials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vitamin B12 and folic acid could reduce blood homocysteine levels, which was thought to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but previous studies regarding the effect of vitamin B12 and folic acid in treatment of AD have not reached conclusive results. We searched PubMed and Embase until January 12, 2023. Only randomized control trials involving participants clearly diagnosed with AD and who received vitamin B12 and folic acid were enrolled. Five studies that met the criteria were selected for inclusion in the metaanalysis. Changes in cognitive function were measured based on either the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) or the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog). Changes in daily life function and the level of blood homocysteine were also investigated. After a 6-month treatment, administration of vitamin B12 and folic acid improved the MMSE scores more than placebo did (SMD = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.32, p = 0.04) but did not significantly affect ADAS-Cog scores (SMD = 0.06, 95% CI = -0.22 to 0.33, p = 0.68) or measures of daily life function. Blood homocysteine levels were significantly decreased after vitamin B12 and folic acid treatment. Participants with AD who received 6 months of vitamin B12 and folic acid supplementation had better MMSE scores but had no difference in ADAS-Cog scores. Daily life function did not improve after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7856-7869
Number of pages14
JournalAging
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • folic acid
  • homocysteine
  • vitamin B12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology

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